Signal failure brings trains to a halt
Thousands of passengers endured another day of misery on the West’s creaking Great Western mainline as signal problems again brought the trains shuddering to a halt.
This time a complete failure of signals at Swindon meant the entire main line from Bristol, Bath, Chippenham, South Wales and Gloucestershire was shut down for hours yesterday morning, with trains cancelled.
Services out of Paddington were being redirected to the more southerly lines through Wiltshire to Westbury and back up to Bath and Bristol.
But services from Gloucestershire and from Swindon itself were replaced by buses – adding at least two hours to everyone’s journey.
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The signal problem at Swindon comes after a miserable last couple of months for train passengers trying to get to the capital.
A succession of signalling problems to the west of London between Slough and Paddington have caused delays on an almost daily basis.
Frustrated bosses of the train operators First Great Western have been powerless to prevent delays to their trains. The signalling and track are run by Network Rail, who admitted ‘significant disruption’.
“A major signalling failure meant trains were unable to run through the Swindon area,” a spokesman said. “This caused disruption to services on the Great Western Main Line between London, the Thames Valley, the west of England and south Wales.”